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Outstanding young scientists

The following have received Hugo-Geiger awards: Sven Rademacher in recognition of a mobile measuring device for emission monitoring (1st prize), Harry Kummer for his new heat exchanger coating system (2nd prize) and Anna Marie Kruspe for her automated world music classification process (3rd prize).

Measuring emissions precisely and on the go: Sven Rademacher will receive the first Hugo-Geiger prize for his infrared optical filter photometer. Second prize goes to Harry Kummer for his new heat exchanger coating system. In third place: Anna Marie Kruspe for her automated world music classification process.

Reliably measuring air quality – on the go

In October 2008, environmental zones were introduced in many of Germany‘s cities. Vehicles with red discs have since been banned from city centers. Still, emission loads in cities and major population centers continue to be too high. The reason for this is the fact that pollutants don‘t just come from traffic, but also from heating systems, power stations, industrial plants and from the natural environment. To monitor compliance with the legal regulations, the authorities need solid measurement data - recorded precisely and flexibly. So far, this data has generally come from stationary measuring locations. But because they are not extensively distributed, the values do not fully reflect the actual air composition. Sven Rademacher developed the mobile, infrared optical filter photometer as part of this Master‘s thesis at the Fraunhofer Institute for Physical Measuring Technology IPM in Freiburg. Unlike commercially available systems, it detects several gases at the same time. What‘s more, the device‘s position can be fixed using GALILEO, the European satellite navigation system, which allows for the measurement data to be precisely localized. This in turn permits conclusions to be drawn on the sources of the pollution and specific countermeasures to be initiated, imposing local traffic restrictions for example. An online air pollutant chart is to make the measurements transparent for everyone.

Making thermally driven air-conditioning systems more economical

In industrialized countries, high constructions with large glass fronts, will be part of the cityscape. These buildings, however, require a great deal of energy for heating and cooling. Experts believe that the demand only for cooling will triple by 2020. During summer, air-conditioning of rooms can be realised more efficiently by using thermally-driven adsorption cooling units. Here water, as a non-poisonous coolant, silica gel and zeolites as adsorption materials are used. Researchers must dramatically improve these technologies until they are economical and efficient and therefore suitable for daily use. In his diploma thesis at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE in Freiburg, Harry Kummer developed a highly promising coating system for the use on heat exchangers integrated in these adsorption chillers. His coating system is flexible and suitable for new and optimized adsorption materials. It permits a higher power density of the units through faster adsorption cycles, making it possible to construct these units in a more economical and compact manner. There is a patent pending for the coating process, which is to be further optimized in a large-scale demonstration unit.

Automatically classifying “world music”

The music market is in a state of flux: Since the era of digital formats, music is being increasingly offered online to a globalized market. Automated processes help genres to be reliably classified and music archives to be managed affordably and efficiently. For that to happen, music databases must be pre-processed. Commercial solutions are already in place for standard music genres such as rock and pop, but not for world music. In her thesis at the Fraunhofer Institute for Digital Media Technology IDMT in Ilmenau, Anna Marie Kruspe developed an automated classification process for non-Western music genres. Using this process, she achieves an accuracy of 70 percent. This is equivalent to the existing systems for classifying Western music. So in future, “world music” can also be integrated into the international music market - benefitting both composers and consumers alike. The thesis emerged as part of »GlobalMusic2one«, a project supported by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research.

Sven Rademacher | Fraunhofer Research News
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